SCIENTISTS investigating the origins of the Universe through the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) are celebrating a major breakthrough.
By Jon Austin
PUBLISHED: 18:04, Thu, Jul 6, 2017 | UPDATED: 18:21, Thu, Jul 6, 2017
CERN LHC boffins are celebrating the discovery of baryons.
Boffins from CERN (The European Organization for Nuclear Research) which runs the bizarre complex in Geneva have discovered a brand new heavy particle.
The new particle, named Xi-cc++ (pronounced Ks?-CC plus-plus), is part of a family of “doubly-charmed baryons” that are predicted to exist by the Standard Model theory of particle physics.
It is the first time scientists have been able to confirm their existence.
The Large Hadron Collider is in a complex of tunnels beneath the Swiss-French border, where particles are smashed into each other to discover what matter formed the universe.
Chris Parkes, deputy spokesperson for the LHCb experiment and Professor of experimental particle physics at the University of Manchester, said: “This discovery opens up a new field of particle physics research.
“An entire family of doubly charmed baryons, related to this particle, now await discovery.”
Nearly all the matter that we see around us is made of baryons, which are common particles composed of three quarks, the best-known being protons and neutrons.
The LHC – The Large Hadron Collider. What is the LHC, how does it work
Inside the Large Hadron Collider
Tue, October 20, 2015
Pictures of The Large Hadron Collider which is the worlds most powerful particle accelerator held in Geneva, Switzerland.
This discovery opens up a new field of particle physics research.
However, there are six types of existing quarks, and theoretically many different potential combinations could form other kinds of baryons.
Baryons that have been observed so far are all made of, at most, one heavy quark such as a bottom or charm quark.
University of Glasgow physicist Dr Patrick Spradlin, who led the research and announced the findings at the European Physical Society Conference on High Energy Physics in Venice today, said: “The properties of the newly discovered baryon shed light on a longstanding puzzle surrounding the experimental status of baryons containing two charm quarks, opening an exciting new branch of investigation for LHCb.”
Guy Wilkinson, former Spokesperson of the collaboration, said: “In contrast to other baryons, in which the three quarks perform an elaborate dance around each other, a doubly heavy baryon is expected to act like a planetary system, where the two heavy quarks play the role of heavy stars orbiting one around the other, with the lighter quark orbiting around this binary system.”
LHCb is one of the four main experiments at the collider solving the mysteries of our universe.
The collaboration has submitted a paper reporting these findings to the journal Physical Review Letters